Speaker Mike Johnson:*Where He Stands on Tech

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After weeks of standstill in the U.S. House of Representatives without a Speaker, the chamber will now be led by Representative Mike Johnson, who represents Louisiana’s 4th district. A previous Chair of the Republican Study Committee and a Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, Johnson has also served on the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees.

With a relatively unknown member of the House Republican Conference elected as Speaker of the House, what could this mean for the Congressional tech agenda? We took a look at Speaker Johnson’s previous positions on the many technology-related issues before Congress:

Content Moderation

Johnson, in his work on the Judiciary Committee, has been an ally of Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) in investigating government conversations with social media companies on alleged conservative censorship of First Amendment-protected speech.

  • Johnson was an original cosponsor of H.R.4848 Censorship Accountability Act, which if passed would provide a right of action against federal employees who direct online platforms to censor speech protected by the First Amendment.
  • Johnson was an original cosponsor of the Free Speech Protection Act, which if passed would have banned federal employees from directing online platform companies to censor any speech protected by the First Amendment.
  • Johnson was also an original cosponsor of H.R.4848 Censorship Accountability Act, which if passed would have allowed citizens to sue federal officials they believed violated their First Amendment rights.
  • Johnson has picked fights with the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) repeatedly, accusing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of censoring speech in a hearing and signing on to a GOP Judiciary Committee letter calling on Mayorkas to retract his testimony denying the accusation.
  • Johnson signed letters to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients warning them against censoring conservative views related to the pandemic.
  • Johnson has also called for investigations into the FBI, accusing it of coordinating with Twitter to censor free speech.

Johnson has also been a vocal critic of Section 230 protections and its alleged use as a blanket protection for social media platforms. He has called for the elimination of Section 230 and has cosponsored legislation to limit the provision.

  • When Trump threatened to veto a major defense bill in 2020 unless lawmakers repealed Section 230, he opposed the action but tweeted his support for the repeal.
  • Johnson was a cosponsor of H.R.8517 Protect Speech Act in 2020 as well as the identically titled H.R.3827 a year later, both of which would have narrowed the number of instances an organization could claim “good Samaritan” Section 230 protection.
  • Johnson joined Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) in introducing a nonbinding resolution aimed at encouraging technology companies to introduce age ratings for digital products and increase parental controls to shield children from harmful content.


As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Johnson has opposed antitrust efforts and frequently critiqued Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan, while also applauding efforts to challenge Big Tech companies.

  • Johnson criticized Khan during an August 9 hearing, accusing her of focusing on DEI issues over consumer protection, unlawfully expanding the FTC’s authority, and harming small businesses by working to end noncompete agreements.
  • Johnson voted against H.R. 3816 American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which if passed would have boosted antitrust actions against tech companies and discouraged them from favoring their own products at the expense of competitors.
  • Johnson sponsored H.R.2926 The One Agency Act in 2021, which if passed would have consolidated the FTC’s competition law authority into the DOJ’s Antitrust Division.
  • Johnson voted against H.R.3843 Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act of 2022, which raised merger filing fees to fund antitrust regulators.
  • Johnson offered his praise of then Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s joining a multistate antitrust lawsuit against Google.


As previously mentioned, Johnson has tussled repeatedly with CISA and joined many Republicans in voting to cut funding for the agency by 25%.

  • Johnson joined Rep. Jim Jordan in a letter criticizing the FBI for improperly using its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authority.
  • Johnson signed a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding the bureau’s acquisition of NSO Group spyware, calling it “deeply troubling” and a risk to U.S. civil liberties. Johnson similarly co-authored a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook requesting information about the company’s ability to detect the spyware on its devices.


  • Johnson is largely in line with his Republican colleagues on most broadband issues. Johnson voted against the 2021 infrastructure law, but he has supported federal broadband spending, especially the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which allocated millions of dollars to Louisiana.
  • While Johnson’s position on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is unclear, 29% of households in his district are enrolled. It is uncertain where he stands on the White House’s request for an additional $6 billion to fund the program.
  • Johnson opposes the reinstatement of net neutrality and wants to codify the Trump administration’s repeal of the consumer protection rule.

Other Issues

With the White House and Senate working on comprehensive AI regulations, it’s still unclear where Johnson will fall on the number of pending AI-related issues currently before Congress.

  • Johnson strongly supports the restriction of agency powers. He has endorsed an amicus brief that implores the Supreme Court to be more assertive of its jurisdiction in the face of federal regulators.
  • Johnson co-hosted a dinner for OpenAI CEO Sam Altman alongside Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA).

Johnson’s speakership is still in its infancy, and we will continue to watch how his previous position on tech issues before the House influences the legislative agenda for the remainder of the Congress. There are many must-address issues – like funding the government, FAA reauthorization, the Farm Bill, National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – and Glen Echo Group will be watching to see how Johnson leads the House and how the tech agenda progresses.

What we do know is that these issues will continue to be top-of-mind for many other policymakers and their constituents. Have ideas of how Johnson’s track record might affect Congress’s tech policy agenda? Reach out to us.

Special thanks to Zak Zeledon & Bryce Kelly for their research.